LIBERAL DEMOCRAT leader Vince Cable will make Portsmouth the first port of call for his nationwide campaign that will begin tomorrow.
The MP is due to meet Lib Dem councillors and campaigners tomorrow afternoon to officially launch the party’s 2018 manifesto, ahead of the Portsmouth City Council elections in May.
Mr Cable also plans to visit derelict areas of land in Tipner in the city that the party aims to regenerate if elected and will hear from councillors about concerns for the city such as homelessness.
The Lib Dem leader for Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, welcomed the visit.
He said: ‘We want to show Mr Cable some of the positive things the Lib Dems did when running the city between 2009-2014. We also want to show him some of the opportunities for improvements at the moment and some of the things we think we would do differently.
‘Under the current administration the council has spent more than £100m buying properties outside of Portsmouth. They spent almost £14m on a Waitrose in Somerset and more than £9m on a Matalan in Swindon.
‘We think more of that money should be invested in Portsmouth to not only make money for the council but to create jobs and homes in the city.’
The manifesto, which was released last week, addressed several issues such as homelessness, the living wage, crime, litter and pollution. Some of the solutions the party vowed to back included creating more hostel spaces for the homeless, pumping money into helping communities fight crime and increasing fines for dog mess.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: ‘We believe that this manifesto deals with the most important issues for Portsmouth.
‘We have delivered the manifesto to 50,000 homes in the city so that the people can see exactly what we want to achieve.’
The Lib Dems are contesting all 14 seats that are up for grabs this election. Currently they are the second largest party in the council with 15 seats compared to the Conservatives’ 20. A three seat gain in May’s election would flip these positions.
Read the manifesto in full at portsmouthlibdems.org.uk